The Wizard and The Slug
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

The Wizard and The Slug is a whimsical 2D platformer with an enormously entertaining story and characters. The humor is by far the highlight of this game, but it also contains some challenging platform action. The inclusion of all kinds of strange encounters, goofy mini-games, and laugh-out-loud jokes doesn’t hurt it either. Even players who are not very good at platform games will be able to experience this one due to the inclusion of an “assist” menu, so don’t miss out.

Gameplay: The game features decent platforming action, but it’s the small touches that make the game stand out.

Graphics: The visuals are very basic but also very charming.

Sound: The music and sound effects are decent and very fitting

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The Wizard and The Slug

Developer: Silkworm | Publisher: Meridian4 | Release Date: 2020 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

We’ve seen some unusual team-ups in games over the years, but the unlikely duo in The Wizard and The Slug still managed to raise an eyebrow. It all starts when an unassuming forest slug quietly minds its own business only to discover a dismembered wizard lying in a smoking crater. The poor slug is enlisted for an epic adventure after graciously returning some scattered limbs to the wizard, who may or may not actually be a wizard. It is possible to refuse this request in one of many laugh-out-loud moments in the game, but doing so would mean missing out on one heck of an adventure.

Although The Wizard and The Slug is a platform game at heart, there is much more to it than navigating tricky environments and killing enemies. For one, it is set in a bizarre fantasy world, so you never know who or what you will run into next. Slugs are not exactly synonymous with speed and strength, but fortunately, the wizard had the good fortune to find one that is fast and agile. It is also good at defending itself by lobbing projectiles at enemies. The catch is that each projectile decreases the mass of the slug, and when it is in its most diminutive form, it can get killed by enemies. Thankfully, teaming up with a wizard has its perks, which include becoming immortal. So, while the slug can get killed by enemies or hazards, it will simply respawn at the nearest safe spot. These are scattered around the levels rather generously, so the penalty for death is never too stiff.

It is clear that the developer of The Wizard and The Slug wants the game to be as accessible as possible to players of all skill levels, as it also includes an “assist” mode. Here, players can toggle things such as unlimited jumps, shots, and even invulnerability. We suggest that platform veterans avoid this menu to get the most out of the game, but for younger players, newcomers to the genre, or those who want to enjoy the story without frustration, it’s a pretty handy feature. On the other hand, for players who wish to enjoy the game without the story interruptions, there is also an “arcade” mode, which is perfect for speed-running. However, we recommend playing through the story mode at least once purely because it is brilliant. The Wizard and the Slug has three different endings, so there’s more than enough reason to play through it multiple times.

The Wizard and the Slug is a solo developer’s work, which is quite evident in the 2D visuals. However, while being relatively simple, the graphics are certainly not without charm. Not only is the slug rather adorable as far as slimy, projectile-hurling creatures go, but all manner of weird and wonderful characters also populate the game’s fantasy world. From animals and vegetables to harpies and more, most of these creatures are not just enemies or background characters. Some will team up with your slug for a short time to help out, while others will challenge you to games of volleyball or engage you in humerus conversations. These conversations make for some of the most memorable and humorous moments in the game. Of course, humor is very subjective, and not everyone will appreciate all the jokes in The Wizard and the Slug, but for what it is worth, it constantly had us laughing out loud. For a game with such an absurd premise and so much offbeat humor, it is also surprisingly heartfelt and tackles unexpected issues that we will not spoil here.

From a purely platforming perspective, there’s not much that The Wizard and the Slug does that is unique. Levels are colorful and filled with hazards as well as enemies, but you are still mostly jumping and shooting your way through them. Your slug can unlock different types of shots and switch between them, as some are more effective against certain enemies than others. New skills like double jumping and air dashing also make for challenging gauntlets where one wrong move can spell death. Also, there are a couple of tricky boss fights and even a chase sequence where you must evade a giant monster down in a sewer. Most of the time, players control the slug while the wizard “rests” inside it, but there are also a few times when control switches over to the wizard. These sections are brief and usually story-related but entertaining, especially those involving medicinal herbs that must be found and identified correctly.

Despite a large amount of dialog in The Wizard and The Slug, there is no voice acting, which means lots of reading is required. However, as we’ve already mentioned, the dialogue is brilliant throughout, and we never had the urge to skip through the text. The music is just as whimsical as the visuals and the story, and so are the sound effects. We played the game using a controller and found the controls very responsive, but playing with a keyboard works just as well.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed The Wizard and The Slug, and it is definitely a hidden gem for the genre. Some sections of the game felt much harder than others, so it’s a pity that there are no difficulty options. Adding the “assist” mode is helpful, but a cheat menu is not a good substitute for balanced difficulty. Without the story and dialog, The Wizard and The Slug is a decent game but not extraordinary. However, the writing definitely elevates it to something special. It’s a game that is easy to overlook because of the visual style and genre, but to miss out on The Wizard and The Slug would be a mistake.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP or above
  • Processor: 1.7 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 7 or above
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

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